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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Prodigal Thoughts

My friend Becky asked me a question on my last post about who I saw myself as in the parable of the Prodigal Son. I see myself as the older brother. This is poignant in a way as i actually am an older brother really. My inner world has been one of the older brother alot of the time which is messed up. I have a versy sensitive nature and also a very severe conscience. As i said before I always had a very rigid view of cussing when a kid. Anytime i heard very bad cussing , especially taking the Lords name in vain my insides would tighten and i would tell whoever not to do that. It has lessened quite a bit over time but still has been that way overall towards myself. I just read an article on a theology site talking about eternal security. 2 extreme views often happen from differing sides of the issue. Those who believe in eternal security see total security after coming to Christ, no sin can affect that ever as Christ keeps hold of the person forever regardless of their conduct. The other side is eternal insecurity in that any sin is seen as possible removal from salvation and worry reigns as one never knows their status due to constant struggles with their human weakness.

I would fall on the side of the eternally insecure. I have always been the *good kid* for the most part even before becoming a Christ-follower. Mostly because i was scared of doing the things that the prodigal did, partly because i felt like i needed to be good to not add stress and anguish to my mom as she was widowed and raising 2 kids alone. Deep inside though a part of me secretly wanted to be able to be bad and do all the *fun wild* things I imagined the prodigal doing. I engaged in partying for a short time in high school, I smoked pot and got drunk, but had some very bad experiences with pot that steered me away from drugs as i was a bit of a hypochondriac and didn't want to risk hurting my brain or heart. I avoided any sexual experiences for the most part mainly due to the belief i was ugly and unable to handle anything like that with a girl due to my acne in jr high and the rejection and ridicule i had experienced, which was even more pronounced by myself inwardly.

I had a late adolescence in many ways. After graduating from Bible College i was suddenly alone and apart from my secure environment. I had lived on campus in the dorms and was surrounded by friends all the time, and at church all day on sunday. After graduating I had to find a job and lost contact regularly with all the friends i had been around the past 3 years everyday. The aloneness struck at my insecurities with girls as i wanted to find a girlfriend but felt so clueless as to going about it. I tried dating services and had quite a few failed dates. I doubted i would ever be able to find a girl in the normal way and have a real relationship due to my insecurities and found other ways to satisfy those desires. My conscience severe as it is never let up anytime i indulged in those experiences. As i have shared on here before, i have worked through alot of this but still have times of struggle and failure and dealing with the whole addiction cycle of shame and guilt and love hunger which acts like a revolving door. The older brother in me wonders why God didn't help me get past my pain and fears of my jr high experiences so i could develop a normal way to have a romantic relationship with a girl that led to marriage.

I feel like lately i have gotten a better handle on all this and have had a few special friends with whom to share at a more intimate level. I hope my sharing on here has been a positive and good thing concerning all this. I am so thankful for the people who have commented or emailed me telling me they were encouraged or challenged by reading my journey and it has been used by God to strengthen them. That is wby i began blogging to begin with!!!! I hope and pray i will be able to share in the same way as I see God bring more healing and maturity into my life and i can translate that on here as i journey on.


At 1:02 AM, Anonymous mariam said...

hi Robert

I came over to visit from Gary's blog. I've been reading over your blog and if there is one thing I wish I could make you be assured of it is this - our god is a loving god. He knows that we are inevitably going to mess up and he knows why and he lovesbus anyway because that is his nature. He will always call us back to him and he will always run to meet us when we turn and head back toward home. I have always identified with the prodigal, not because I was particularly wild or wicked but because I would go my own way and I feel nothing but gratitude that I can be forgiven and come home. But the older son is the one we really need to have compassion for. The younger son never really doubts his fathers love. After royally screwing up he returns home confident of his fathers love and forgiveness. But the older son is insecure and feels he needs to earn his fathers love. His service to his father is done not out of love or gratitude but out of fear that he won't be loved if he doesn't do what is expected of him. It always seems a bit unfair doesnt it? I mean when the oldest son complains that the father has never once thrown a party for him you think that, you know, he does have a point. And you can almost imagine the father wishing there was some way that he could get through to this anxious, unhappy, resentful son that he is just as loved as the younger, that what the father wanted most from his son was not his begrudged labour done out of a sense of duty and fear, but the son's love and trust. A god we can't trust doesnt make any sense. In order for us to trust god he must be loving and good. You' be probably read about the atheist ads on buses in the I'm and here in Canada that say "there probably isnt a god so stop worrying and enjoy your life" it makes me sad to think that there are people who see god as a source of fear and worry.
so what then about death? Well what about it? Didn't Christ show us that death has been conquered? Do you think an all- mighty, all- good and all- loving god would be stopped in his tracks by our mortality. God wills that none should perish. Our mortal lives are the blink of an eye to him. How little faith we have if we think god can be defeated by our willfulness or our mortality. God is a lot bigger than that and he has all of eternity to work on us. There most certainly is a god and he's got everything under contrl so stop worrying and enjoy your life.

At 8:29 PM, Blogger Robert said...

hi mariam - thanks so much for stopping by. i have read your comments on garys blog for quite sometime now and always find them of much value in many ways. I really *get* what you are saying here and I want to do what you said relax quit worrying and enjoy life God is love and He is always good I just have crazy things which mess me up from just simply doing that trusting Him as is hoping to reach that place as I journey on hope to keep hearing from you and i know i will see you at garys place


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